Ang mga taga-ASAP at OPM ang isa sa nagbigay ng tribute sa huling gabi ng lamay para sa Hari ng Komedya na si Dolphy sa Heritage Park kagabi, July 14.
Si Gary Valenciano ay isa mga kasabayan ni Zsa Zsa Padilla sa industriya at kasama rin nito sa ASAP.
Isa raw sa fondest memories ni Gary kay Dolphy ay nang makasama niya ito sa isang dance number sa isang special nito maraming taon na ang nakakaraan.
Ayon nga kay Gary, “Actually, we did a project together. I think, it was his special. Many, many years ago. Maybe about 15 years or almost 20 years ago. Kasi, he’s 83, so, memorable sa akin yun kasi, sinasabi niya, 'Naku, hindi ko na yata kaya ‘to, hindi na.'
“Pero pagka-action, wow! It was a showdown. At alam niyo, may DVD kasi... and there’s this excerpt of me dancing with him. Yun, memorable sa akin yun.”
At saka naalala ni Gary ang isang composition na personal daw niyang isinulat tungkol sa Comedy King. Binasa nga ito ni Gary sa pamamagitan ng kanyang cellphone. Sinulat daw niya ang naturang composition sa kanyang blog.
Ito ang sinulat niya:
“The entire nation faces this sorrowful time as we hear the voices of those who fondly and deeply speak about the memory of the King of Comedy. Ironically, as much as he had made me laugh, smile and look at life with more joy, it was those moments that he did drama that touched and spoke to me the most.
“His comedy never failed to show me what he was known for, and who he was known to be. But it was his dramatic performances, those rare and few magnificent moments that showed me more [about this] man than what our eyes [have seen].
“No doubt, Dolphy did more than make people laugh.
“He touched people when and where it mattered and counted the most.
“From the consistent and never changing desire to live his passion from his heart, he is one of the very few that completes the entire spectrum of what the true artist should be.
“To have all his projects shown on television for us to enjoy once more, would mean, we would literally have months or even years of Dolphy on a daily basis.
“I can guarantee that if you’ve only heard of him to be the King of Comedy, seeing this man in action will certainly make you know him to be much, much more than this.
“Thank you Tito Dolphy for touching all of our lives."
Bukod pa sa pagsasama raw nila sa isang dance showdown, isa pa sa mga hindi malilimutan daw ni Gary kay Dolphy ay tuwing sasama ito kay Zsa Zsa na manonood ng concert niya.
“When Zsa Zsa and I would do concert, nandoon siya or Zsa Zsa would open up to me once in a while and tell me how much [she] loved him... And I was like, wow.”
Dugtong pa niya, “I still remember, yung mga unang ano namin ni Zsa Zsa, e, she was married tapos, nag-ano ang marriage niya.
RUMOR HAS IT. "Ang akala ng iba, dahil sa akin. Tapos biglang may tsismis about Dolphy.
“Eh, hindi naman ako tsismoso and I didn’t wanna go to ZsaZsa and say na, 'Uy, ano ba, totoo ba?'
"Until one time, nasa rehearsal ako, she came to the rehearsal... Tapos yun, kinausap niya ko. Sabi niya, I’m leaving. I’m going with Dolphy.
“Then I said, 'Thank you for telling me. Thank you for letting me in.'
"Well, siyempre, people asked me. We’re partners. Martin [Nievera] and Pops [Fernandez] were still together then and then, me and Zsa Zsa.
Then she said, 'I’m sorry.' I said, 'It’s okay.'”
ZSA ZSA'S REAL LOVETEAM. Bilang siya nga ang tila “ka-loveteam” ni Zsa Zsa sa pagkanta, naging daan ba yun para maging malapit sila ni Dolphy?
“We never became close na nag-uusap kami. It’s a different generation kasi. But I sense, I really sense na every time he would see me, there was always, 'Gary, o, kamusta? Nagri-rehearse ba kayo? Dapat kayo ni Zsa Zsa, mag-concert na kayo ulit.'
"Obviously, he likes the partnership. And I think, he trusted me enough and malaking bagay para sa akin yun. Malaking bagay para sa akin yun talaga," ayon kay Gary.
Kung ipapalarawan sa kanya si Dolphy, sino ito?
“He was an ordinary man with an extraordinary heart. He was naturally talented but supernaturally empowered. Kumbaga, parang natural lang sa kanya na magpatawa sa tao, pero, super natural.
“Six decades of being able to do that. Basahin mo lang... yung mga comments ng mga tao, hindi naman ka-edad niya, mas bata pa sa akin, ‘di ba? It’s just beyond me. I can’t think of any artist that can come close to that.”
NATIONAL ARTIST ISSUE. Ang titulo ng pagiging National Artist ay isang malaking isyu pa rin hanggang ngayon. Kung si Gary ang tatanungin, ano ang personal stand niya rito?
“Okay, the problem kasi is not whether Tito Dolphy qualifies or not. I think, the entire nation and any Filipino you ask anywhere in the world [would say], ‘Hindi pa ba?’ ‘Akala ko matagal na.’ Ganoon na yun.
“The problem is not with Tito Dolphy. The problem is with the organization that set it up. But I think, even them, they know.
"Pati sila, alam nila. Oo nga, kaso, yung rules natin. Kapag iniba mo yun, madadali tayo sa iba – well, maybe, they should look at their regulations and rules again.
"You cannot [bestow a] National Artist [award] only when a person dies. Parang postmortem.”
Dugtong pa niya, “I feel bad na hindi nabigay sa kanya but I feel good because the nation stands as one that this guy should have been [declared] a National Artist years ago.
"Lahat naman tayo naniniwala na National Artist na siya. Matagal na dapat and in a way, I think it’s good na rin baka sakaling may mabago.”
Nakikita niya bang posibleng mapalitan o may sumunod talaga sa yapak at narating ng isang Dolphy?
Sabi ni Gary, “There will be others in the future na maaaring maging very successful hindi lang dito kung hindi maging sa iba’t-ibang parte ng mundo.
"Pero kapag tinanong mo sila paano sila natuto, I guarantee you, the name of Dolphy will always [come up].
“There will never be another Dolphy. Maybe another comedian in one area, pero, hindi yung masasabi mo na better than Dolphy.
"Kasi, Dolphy was also a dancer, he’s also a dramatic actor and he won Best Actor.
“if you’re a comedian, okay. But can you make people cry? Can you dance? Wala na.
"Or can you do that in sixty years? Only then can you come close. So, there’ll never be another Dolphy.”